As a person facing the potential punishments associated with sex offenses, it’s important to know about the laws and when they began. Sex offender registration started in 1992 in Louisiana, when the state enacted the first law that mandated the registration of those who had been convicted of sex offenses against minors or others. The registration itself is completed through local law enforcement agencies.
In October 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act was enacted by the United States Congress. At that point, there was enough support and backing through guidelines by the government to start sex offender registration programs within the state. Originally, the act did not allow the registration information to be released to the public; however, that has since changed.
The public notification of local known sex offenders and predators began in 1996. That law, called Megan’s Law, passed two years after the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl. The new law was signed by President Clinton in May 1996, just shortly before Louisiana enacted sex predator and sex offender registration and notification laws.
Through Megan’s Law, there are two requirements that must be met. First, the sex offender registration must take place at the local level, meaning that offenders must be registered in the location where they live. Then, the community must be notified of the presence of the offender, allowing people to know who their children could be exposed to while living in the area. The law allows states to create criteria for disclosure, but it does ask that they make private and personal information for sex offenders available to the public.
As you can see, sex offender registration is taken extremely seriously in Louisiana and elsewhere, which is why it’s something that should be vigorously defended against. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide more information on how to potentially avoid having to register as a sex offender as a result of the charges you face, if possible.
Source: Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, “Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office – Sex Offenders,” Aug. 04, 2014